Tiananmen Square remembered 25 years later everywhere around the world except China

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Chinese citizens are facing a tough internet firewall as the ruling Communist party tries to enforce silence and amnesia on a seething nation striving to grieve and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The firewall, which blocks many sites including Twitter and Facebook, now blocks all of Google’s services from search and Google maps to the more innocuous calendar or slides apps.

It was 1989 and the streets of Beijing ran red with the blood of Chinese protestors.

They wanted democracy, but were gunned down by their own military. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed.

Censors have banned many references to the event including:

China has a standing block for versions of the June 4th date in a range of languages, including even the roman numerals VIIV.

The number 64 (for 4th June) and formulas leading to the number such as 65 minus 1 are blocked.

Activists have previously substituted dates such as May 35th, but even the short form “535” have been identified and banned.
Words such as “this day”, “that year” and “special day” and emoticons symbolising remembrance such as a burning candle have been blocked.

Even more unusual phrases used on platforms such as China’s social network Weibo have been identified and shut down

Last year, “big yellow duck” was blocked after activists substituted ducks for the tanks in Jeff Widener’s iconic photo of a man standing in front of a line of armoured vehicles.

A Lego recreation of the photo was banned shortly after it surfaced on Weibo last year.

Despite the bans, people living in China use ISP re-routers to evade censorship and can still access Google search through a hidden version of the service maintained by GreatFire, hosted on Amazon Web Servers.

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14 thoughts on “Tiananmen Square remembered 25 years later everywhere around the world except China

      • Arthur Schopenhauer said, “the freedom of the press should be governed by a very strict prohibition of all and every anonymity.” However, with the Internet the public dialogue has moved online, where hate speech is easy and anonymous.

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      • Q. I’m beginning to wonder whether all of my missing posts have fallen victim to the green pen. Other stuff (emails,etc.) has also disappeared into cyberspace.
        Want to put a ballpark figure on the number that have actually been censore?
        eg. One in three, say.

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      • See my reply hereunder, Jim ~ assuming it’s posted.
        Anyone can label anything ‘hate speech’; It’s a purely subjective concept, and on that basis everything labelled ‘hate speech’ is equally and validly….er, ‘hateful’.
        Coming from certain people, I find being called a ‘nice guy’ is downright hateful.
        Who’s going to tell me my opinion isn’t valid?
        …and on what basis?

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      • In North Korea they are told that Jesus Christ is some “Chinese guy”. What is it with hardcore atheism that it needs to rewrite/censor history?

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    • The principle of censorship is what it is.

      Obviously, the chinese are trying to censor what THEY find offensive.
      (or hate speech or racist comments: “bloodthirsty chinese”.)
      How is your specific reference : “Chinese massacre” any different from my specific reference to the “jewish massacre” (in Palestine)??
      Is it because the chinese aren’t semites?

      “offensive comments, hate speech or racist comments” lie ENTIRELY in the eye of the beholder. ie are purely subjective.
      …and to impose your own subjective views ~ particularly via censorship of the media ~ is ‘WRONG’ (MY subjective view!) Even your god doesn’t come at that!

      . Censorship and ‘evil’ are the closest of bedmates.
      ,,, and yes: I do realise it’s a matter of Free Will.

      ps. It’s well past time that (across the New Age World) ‘racist’ comment’
      or views or philosophies) were separated from ‘racial discrimination’.
      They are two very difference things.
      …..and generate a great deal of UNNECESSARY murder and misery where before there was none.

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      • offensive comments, hate speech or racist comments” lie ENTIRELY in the eye of the beholder

        Maybe so Dabbles. But I am the beholder. Someone has to be. As I said before, hateful comments, bullying and racism don’t belong on THIS blog. There’s no need to be so bloody negative about everything Dabs. Smell the roses for a change.

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      • ?? ” Someone has to be.”
        Why?
        Seriously….and isn’t ‘negativity’ also in the eye of the beholder?
        I see my comments generally as ‘constructive’.
        Isn’t the first principle of any debate defining the issue and/or the terms?
        How else is any resolution possible?

        Or do we not seek resolutions here?

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  1. Facebook has been blocked in China for years as it’s viewed suspiciously as a place to freely disseminate ideas. China earlier this year that it was blocking the wildly popular social media website for its “ability to spread rumors” and instead placates its social media-hungry masses with Weibo, a homegrown service it can more easily censor.

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    • Do we know for certain (given the Star of David on the tanks) that the above photo was actually taken in China, and not in Downtown Palestine?
      (though probably not; the bloke standing there hasn’t been shot yet. 🙂 )

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